Sketch for a Painting of Scholars at the Game of Go
Kano artist after Kano Tan'yū (Japanese, 1602–1674)
Edo period (1615–1868)
Hanging scroll mounted as a panel; ink and color on paper
Image: 33 1/8 x 16 in. (84.1 x 40.6 cm)
Overall with mounting: 36 1/2 x 18 5/8 in. (92.7 x 47.3 cm)
Framed: 37 7/16 x 19 7/8 in. (95.1 x 50.5 cm)
Gift of John and Lili Bussel, 1996
Not on view
Kano Tan'yū, the founder of the phenomenally successful Edo branch of the Kano school of painting, which continued to hold hegemony over all the artists throughout the Edo period, was in constant demand for his connoisseurship of Chinese and Japanese paintings of the past. In his later years, Tan'yū studiously made copies of the paintings that were brought to him for his judgment. The copies (shukuzu, or "reduced pictures") are indispensable records of the works still extant during his time.
Symbolizing Confucian ideals, two gentlemen are engaged in a game of go, one of the Four Gentlemanly Accomplishments, while two observers are in conversation. Three other accomplishments required of learned gentlemen are music, painting, and calligraphy.
Tan'yū signed his title hōin and his age as sixty-five.
Inscription: Ho'in Tanyu Gyonen rodujugosai hitsu (Painted by Ho'in Tanyu at the mature age of sixty five), as well as his gourd shaped seal are copied faithfully.
Inscribed: date, Horeki 10 (1760) and the owner of the paintings.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Graceful Gestures: A Decade of Collecting Japanese Art," September 29, 2001–March 10, 2002.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Graceful Gestures: Two Decades of Collecting Japanese Art," 2007.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "A Drama of Eyes and Hands: Sharaku's Portraits of Kabuki Actors," September 20, 2007–March 24, 2008.